Central Chapter Field Trip Report

-Lois Fox

Since the last newsletter in April, two more field trips that were very different from each other have taken place. One was at the Route 66 Prairie outside of Litchfield and the other at Carol Anderson’s home in Rochester.  Both were well attended. 

Route 66 Prairie tour attendees
Creamy Wild Indigo (Baptisia bracteata var. leucophaea)

Henry Eilers led the field trip on May 15 at the Route 66 Prairie.  Fortunately, the rain stopped that day just before the group headed out into the prairie.  Because of a late burn at the site, the plants were just starting to bloom.  Henry identified many species and provided information about the plant communities, soil, hydrology, history of the site, and ongoing restoration efforts.  It was wonderful seeing this site and having Henry share all this information about it. 

Above, left: Carol Anderson pointing out American Ipecac (Gillenia stipulata) on her garden tour

Above, right: American Ipecac (Gillenia stipulata), a native at left, and a non-native Clematis hybrid at right

The field trip on June 19 at Carol Anderson’s home was actually 2 garden tours.  The first tour at 10:00 encountered some light rain, but everyone was prepared.  There was no rain during the second tour at 11:00.  Carol’s garden is an example of how urban/suburban gardeners can incorporate native plants into an existing landscape.  As Carol led the group through her property, she identified many of the plants, noting if they were native or non-native.  Also, she explained how she managed some of the native plants to give them a more controlled appearance while noting she let others grow naturally in the background.  The garden tours concluded with a native plant giveaway of Prairie Blazing Star (Liatris pycnostachya ), Smooth Phlox (Phlox glaberrima ssp. interior), Hoary Skullcap (Scutellaria incana), and Wood Poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum).